First and foremost, do not read if you have not listened to the episode! This is further commentary on the trial, so go and listen to the trial and then come back and read my thoughts.
Let me start by saying that I think that this may be the best trial we’ve had, to date. I think that Branden and I make for great sparring partners. I also have to point out my amazing lawyer skills-Nate admitted that he was leaning toward the prosecution up until I made my final statements. My final statements were powerful, thus why I saved that point until the end (They were even more powerful live as I had a perfect pause for dramatic effect). Aside from all of the facts, it was how I used that statement that won the case. Although I won the trial, there were still some things that I wanted to comment on.
First, let me say that I think it is interesting that after the trial was finished, Branden admitted that he believes Snape is not guilty of murder. Meanwhile, Nate-who ruled that Snape was not guilty-said that his actions were murder (Maybe he can clarify that). As for my own perspective, I have never been a fan of Snape, in fact I always kind of hated him (despite me being a Slytherin). Upon reviewing everything for this venue though, I really did gain a new appreciation of Snape as I was forced to pay more attention and think about the issue more than I ever had.
One thing that really hit me as a fan was the role of the Elder Wand. Although the judge did not feel it was important because it was all speculation (more on speculation later) I think that it was instrumental in the events that took place. Nobody can deny Dumbledore’s wisdom, and the layer of depth added to this situation when considering his thoughts on the Elder Wand are paramount. If anyone wants to correct me on this line of thinking, please do. But I don’t think that we can deny that Dumbledore most certainly factored the Elder Wand into his plan to have Snape kill him. Although Snape did not know this, it is important to understand Dumbledore’s full plan and the importance of it as Dumbledore’s plan was the reason he asked Snape to kill him, and Snape obliged.
I also wanted to touch on the UK law and reach out to fans for their thoughts. As Nate mentioned, the Wizarding World does not have a law regarding assisted suicide. So he claims that he had to defer to the UK law, but I believe that this is wrong .The Wizarding World is clearly separate from the muggle world. Are we to believe that had these actions taken place in, say Washington, that the Wizarding World would accept assisted suicide as being legal? UK laws are only relevant in situations in which wizards are interacting with the muggle world. On top of that, I would argue that it was not assisted suicide as Dumbledore was about to die anyway; if not by Snape’s wand, then one of the Death Eaters that were there. Given the circumstances, Snape followed through on his promise. Had I lost the case, I certainly would have had it overturned on appeal based on this misuse of law.
Regarding the rampant speculation, I found it very interesting that mine got shot down while both Branden and Nate speculated so freely. First off, Snape’s motive is highly speculative. As everything is revealed in the story, the chronology gets a little wibbly-wobbly. But I was always under the impression that Snape’s conversation with Dumbledore took place before he made the vow. In my mind, he made the vow knowing that Dumbledore had already instructed Snape to kill him. I didn’t bring this up as I could not cite the evidence (as the judge supposedly loves) on the spot but it must be taken into consideration. With the promise to Dumbledore being made before the vow, the motive based on the vow becomes irrelevant. If we trust the video posted on our Facebook page showing Snape’s major scenes in chronological order, his conversation with Dumbledore certainly came first, although I’m sure Nate would have wanted proof from the book itself rather than the movies. This is just another area that I would have had the verdict overturned on appeal because it destroys the only motive that the prosecution gave. If any fans can correct me on this point, then please do.
There was also some speculation after the verdict was delivered. Branden said that he should have raised the question, “How do we know that the Ministry wasn’t doing anything?” Aside from being even more speculation, the results are what matter. If they were attempting anything, they were failing miserably. Nate also mentioned that if he were the prosecutor, he would have argued that Snape’s memories may have been altered-even saying that if had Branden said this, he probably would have ruled in his favor. This is the definition of speculation and defames my client! He obviously would have allowed it as judge since the speculation dealt with Snape. Meaning, it’s ok to have speculation to ruin the character of the defendant, but not ok to speculate about circumstances that heavily weighed into why Snape committed those actions. There is nothing to suggest that Snape altered his memories. We only have the story as it was presented to us by JK Rowling-the authority on all things Harry Potter.
Because of all of this, I feel that I must defend Snape’s name although he was found not-guilty. The prosecution kept trying to make this about a redemption story. In my new found appreciation for Snape, I must contend that this action was not redeeming, because he did not need to be redeemed. Snape took the weight of the Wizarding World on his shoulders as he played his part as the bad guy. Even his colleagues at Hogwarts did not know the truth about why he killed Dumbledore. He continued to take the hate from everyone, despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong. As far as his personality and as an educator, there is certainly a lot to attack him on. But he is not someone that needed to be redeemed.
We just needed to learn the truth.